The technical review of the Public Access to Legislation project (PAL) has begun, under the leadership of Timothy Arnold-Moore, a recognised expert in the development of legislative drafting and publishing systems.
He was a major contributor to the Tasmanian EnAct system. Arnold-Moore will be leading a team from InQuirion, a developer of text management software, which spun off from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
InQuirion staff have undertaken consulting assignments on legislative drafting systems in various jurisdictions, including Canada, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Sources have told Computerworld that the project is in serious trouble and is not using some software, particularly the SGML markup language generator, to its full advantage. SGML is a master framework used to create markup languages like HTML and XML.
Those in charge of the project, deputy Parliamentary Counsel Geoff Lawn and Anthony Baker from the Carson Group, have declined to comment on these reports.
The review is being undertaken “in order to obtain independent assurance that the PAL solution, developed by Unisys, will be operationally stable, maintainable, and capable of further enhancement and development,” says a joint statement by PCO and Unisys.
No anticipated finishing date for the review has been given.
Some of Arnold-Moore's achievements and published papers can be read here and linked pages.